An HMO licence for a three bedroom flat in Edinburgh costs over £300 annually.

THe HMO legislation obliges a landlord to fit 30 minute fire doors, door closers and fire alarms and supply a fire extinguisher and fire blanket. In addition all properties are subject to an annual inspection.

In particular I object to the door closers, the annual inspections and the cost to landlords.

Living in a property with door closers fitted is unpleasant  in its self. Tenants often wedge such doors open creating increased fire hazard.  I have lived in Edinburgh for over 20 years and  only ever seen one house fire. I only remember one fire in rented property, in Glasgow, leading to casualties and in that case, a basement flat, the windows were barred preventing  easy escape.

If this legislation has led to a significant improvement in fire safety, it's been around long enough for there to be evidence to support it and we must therefore accept that it is a good thing. However if, for all the legislation, there has been no significant change to  in the number of fires or fire related casualties then the legislation should be modified or scraped all together.

In addition landlords are obliged to have have an annual gas safety test, a  portable appliance test, a periodic inspection report and an energy efficiency certificate.

I would suggest that a higher degree of the responsibility for the safety of the occupants of a property should fall to the occupiers of that property and that a more reasonable proposition would be that most of these issues could be covered by a five yearly inspection by the appropriate authority.

While property prices were steadily rising, the increased legislation and expense were suportable, now more and more landlords are getting out of the market.

I propose that all this legislation is due for review and would hopefully become more simple and less expensive, without compromising on safety.

Why is this idea important?

A review of this legislation would make the private rented sector more efficient and would take any inefficient testing and inspection out of the system. It would allow tenants to live more comfortably and just as safely in their homes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.